An Interview with Jessica Vitalis

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Jessica Vitalis stopped by to talk about writing The Wolf’s Curse. We talked about research, played some games, and discussed our apathy about killing our characters. Someone’s got to go, you know? Give it a listen then go get yourself a copy of The Wolf’s Curse.

Connect with me: Facebook . Twitter . Instagram Visit ABMS.BLOG Join The Writers’ Society Become a Member and Get Access to More (or follow me for free but get less) RedBubble Bookshop.org Find ABMS on Podbean Let's talk about objects and how they can enhance your writing! Creating objects can help bring your characters off the page and help to create stories for them. Look at the objects you have nearby. You probably have at least one of the following: a family heirloom photos of family, friends, holidays, festivals, and vacations posters and or other images hanging on your walls special clothes for special occasions books ornaments everyday useful things like mugs or silverware Every item has a history-including that plastic fork you have yet to throw out. They help paint a story of their surroundings. Wherever you can create an object in your writing, you build the world out a little more. Here's a few ways to use objects in literature: as a plot device: sometimes the plot can revolve around finding or destroying an object (see Lord of the Rings) to represent a character: sometimes, personal items say more about the character than the character's actions. Think of the wands in Harry Potter and how crooked Bellatrix's is. as a symbol representing something larger than itself: for this the most famous example I could think of is the green light in The Great Gatsby, and how it represents Gatsby's hopes, dreams, and his connection to Daisy. as a clue: maybe you're writing a mystery or detective fiction. Objects can be used to reveal all sorts of significant things. Channel your inner Sherlock and consider how people use objects every day to really drive this home. to foreshadow something: sometimes a gun hanging on the wall will come up later. to trigger a memory or flashback: sometimes things just look too familiar and they spark something within us. as a device connecting characters' separate stories: maybe your object, magical or otherwise, has been around for significant moments in history, sitting in the corner and lifelessly observing things as life happens around it. Objects are useful because characters can find them, lose them, receive them, gift them, steal or have them stolen, search for them, treasure them, neglect them, lock them up, and even destroy them or toss them aside. And the symbolism of their actions can add to your story. Now for the exercise: Pick an object in your home that has some meaning for you. Study it for a moment and describe it in as much detail as you can. Now construct a scene around it. Was the object stolen or found? Was it a gift? Was it inherited? Make sure the object triggers a significant event for your character (or you, if you're writing about yourself). Let the object help them make a decision, understand something that happened, or turn their life in a different direction.
  1. Objects
  2. Fairy Tales
  3. Mind Mapping
  4. An Interview with Carly Heath
  5. Twisting Your Genre

“I am obsessed with this story!”–Erin Entrada Kelly, author of the Newbery Honor book We Dream of Space

“Boldly tells readers to take a closer look at the stories they’re told–not to mention at the wolves that might be lurking in the shadows. A clear-eyed, big-hearted fable of compassion, friendship, and love.”–Anne Ursu, author of The Real Boy

“A lyrical tale of loss and survival, tradition and belief, in which tension and secrets build like a towering wave.”–Diane Magras, author of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter

“A fable as polished and timeless as a fine wooden toy.”–Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of the Newbery Honor book The Book of Boy

Shunned by his fearful village, a twelve-year-old apprentice embarks on a surprising quest to clear his name, with a mythic–and dangerous–wolf following closely at his heels. Jessica Vitalis’s debut is a gorgeous, voice-driven literary fantasy about family, fate, and long-held traditions. The Wolf’s Curse will engross readers of The Girl Who Drank the Moon and A Wish in the Dark.

Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he cried Wolf and was accused of witchcraft. The Great White Wolf brings only death, Gauge’s superstitious village believes. If Gauge can see the Wolf, then he must be in league with it.

So instead of playing with friends in the streets or becoming his grandpapa’s partner in the carpentry shop, Gauge must hide and pretend he doesn’t exist. But then the Wolf comes for his grandpapa. And for the first time, Gauge is left all alone, with a bounty on his head and the Wolf at his heels.

A young feather collector named Roux offers Gauge assistance, and he is eager for the help. But soon the two–both recently orphaned–are questioning everything they have ever believed about their village, about the Wolf, and about death itself.

Narrated by the sly, crafty Wolf, Jessica Vitalis’s debut novel is a vivid and literary tale about family, friendship, belonging, and grief. The Wolf’s Curse will captivate readers of Laurel Snyder’s Orphan Island and Molly Knox Ostertag’s The Witch Boy.

Never Have I Ever Spoiled My Own Book

Guests are given a series of tropes based on their upcoming or recently published work as well as stereotypical writerly things to do (EXAMPLE: Never have I ever written at a coffee shop, Never have I ever written a smoking gun, etc). If they have done more than half of the scenarios, they have to spoil something from their book.

*Marked scores indicate interviews with spoilers.

AuthorBookDateScore
Michelle Mason (interview)Your Life Has Been Delayed8/30/215/10*
Hayley Krischer (interview)The Falling Girls10/15/216/10*
Soman Chainani (interview)Beasts & Beauty: Dangerous Tales9/18/216/10*
Jessica Vitalis (interview)The Wolf’s Curse9/10/216/10*
Carly Heath (interview)The Reckless Kind2/5/227/10*
Brandie June (interview)Gold Spun6/26/218/10*

Spelling Bee

In this game, guests are given 10 commonly misspelled words. They must spell the words correctly and the game ends when they make a mistake.

AuthorBookDateScore
Jessica Vitalis (interview)The Wolf’s Curse9/10/217/10
Lisa Frenkel Riddiough (interview)Elvis and the World as it Stands10/24/215/10
Hayley Krischer (interview)The Falling Girls10/15/213/10
Carly Heath (interview)The Reckless Kind2/5/222/10
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Published by J. M. Tuckerman

J.M.Tuckerman is a neurodivergent writer with a big education. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults, an MA in Writing, and a BA in Writing Arts (specializing in Creative Writing, New Media Writing, and Publication; concentrating in New Media Production), which she somehow managed to earn despite her three very loud and large dogs. Jessica was lucky enough to intern at Quirk Books and Picador, USA while earning her master’s degrees. Her service dog, Ringo, is very proud of all that she has accomplished and hopes to be on a back cover of a published book with her very soon. An avid reader, writer, and lover of young adult and middle-grade literature, Jessica’s bookshelf is overflowing with hardbacks, paperbacks, and a million half-filled notebooks. She is a proud fur-mommy to two lab/st-bernard littermates, a retriever-mix service dog, and one orange little hobgoblin cat, all of whom have made very audible appearances on the Booked All Night podcast.

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